Riviera Maya offers a large number of activities and cultural excursions, nature and adventure. Surely the best thing is outside your hotel What excursions to do, which are the most demanded, where to go, something highly recommended?

Riviera Maya is a beach destination, relax and party, and also one of the destinations more interesting culturally and leisurely within the considered all-inclusive destinations. There are many environments and many places to meet, so many that I dare say you want to repeat because you will not finish it in 7 days. The statistics tell us that there is an average of three excursions in a stay of 7 nights, being Chichén Itzá the most coveted by its condition of Wonder of the Modern World.

The range of possibilities in Riviera Maya is so wide that tide, so let's try to clear up doubts about what excursions to hire in Riviera Maya so that you have the vacations that you want without surprises, choosing with the most information. Important advise well of the destination with people who know and live it.

We rely on the personal experience of more than 10 years in the area, working in tourism and testing many types of excursions and with different companies, something that gives us a broad criterion of the destination to help you.

We hope you find this complete guide of excursions in Riviera Maya useful.

Archaeological zone Tulum, Quintana Roo


There are two essential ways to travel to Riviera Maya: one is with All-inclusive package and other for free.

ALL-INCLUSIVE PACKAGE: Whether you are Mexican, Spanish, Argentine, American or Colombian, your destination agencies offer travel packages to the Mexican Caribbean. The offers are usually 4 days / 3 nights or 9 days / 7 nights, if it is a transatlantic flight. You can vary the package and lengthen the return trip, the packages give several options. Tourism agencies, when packaged airplane + flight, they offer good prices and payment facilities. Buying one of these packages you do not have to worry about anything: you'll have your plane ticket + transfer to your hotel + stay at the all-inclusive hotel + transfer back to the airport. Your agency will give you a choice between different hotels. Look carefully at the services they offer and whether they have a good beach or not. I leave you some tips for traveling in an all-inclusive package.

FOR FREE: If your intention is to stay in a hotel in Riviera Maya in a relaxing and beach, I advise you to take an all-inclusive package, it is cheaper. If you are going to travel by free, there are many combinations that you can do. The international Airport It is located in Cancun, the gateway to the Riviera Maya. The blog offers information to plan the trip for free.

From here is the question of the million, what options do I have to know Riviera Maya, how can I go, what I can not miss, what trips I do, how and with whom?


  • TRAVEL AGENCIES IN RIVIERA MAYA: in the numerous travel agency that you find in the destinations of Riviera Maya, such as Playa del Carmen, Cancun or Tulum. There is a lot of offer, surely you find what you want.
  • AGENCIES THAT SELL BY INTERNET: You can do it through the internet before arriving in Riviera Maya. There are several companies that sell excursions on the internet, we are affiliated with a couple of them, then we leave your offer for the values.
  • WITH YOUR AGENCY OF ORIGIN: with your own agent If you come in a vacation package, your agency gives you options when you arrive at the destination. The first morning in the destination you are scheduled to meet with the sales agent of the company with whom you bought the package to offer you theirs.
  • FROM YOUR HOTEL: from your hotel you can also book excursions, hotels have travel agencies that sell the most popular destinations in Riviera Maya.

The first two options are usually cheaper what to do through your own agent or at your hotel.


  • IN ADO BUS: most of these places can be reached in public transport, the main bus company that operates in the area takes you to the most tourist destinations. It's called ADO and its website is this. This bus company has transportation to several archaeological zones from the area, see if you're interested how to go in ADO to the ruinsADVISORY IMPORTANT: if you buy before in the ADO website you get much better prices,
  • IN COLLECTIONS: to many places you can get in what they call collective (vans with constant stops). The all-inclusive hotels found at a of the 307 federal highway, which runs through the Riviera Maya. You just have to go out to this one and wait for the collective, in the direction of the road you are heading, the vans carry signs of Cancun-Playa del Carmen o Tulum-Playa del Carmen.
  • PRIVATE TAXI: Another option is to hire a taxi driver to take you around the area. There are several that are dedicated to tourism offering a good service. Taxi drivers do not offer you the travel insurance that the companies offer, and that does not give as much security to some. They do pick you up and drop you off at the hotel normally, except in hotels that do not allow taxi drivers to enter (each hotel has its own, here as in life everything goes by commission). If you are a group of 4 people, it is surely the cheapest option compared to the previous ones. You distribute taxi expenses, then take into account the cost of the tickets and pay the guide if you estimate it in the archaeological zones. We work with trusted taxi drivers in case you want any contact to go on a tour with him. Write me to [email protected]
  • RENT CAR: and of course you can rent a car and go on your own. I leave you some excursion ideas that you can do in rental car in Riviera Maya.


The reality is that it does not have to be more expensive to go for free than to do it on a trip. There are places that will be cheaper and others that will not. We did the price exercise, putting Chichén Itzá as an example. Let's see what the numbers tell us, take out your calculator.

BY RENTAL CAR we calculate about 800 weights per day the car, if you go by fee road 760 weights of payment, some 700 gasoline weights, entrance to Chichén Itzá which is 242 pesos for foreigners and the extras you want to put on your trip, like entrance to cenotes on 100 pesos, 40 parking, economic food 120 weights, more purchases if you do them. Total price of the trip: 2700 pesos (some If you go 4 people save and you win in freedom.) Each one travels according to their tastes and customs, so basically you choose how to go. Complete guide to go to Chichen Itza by rental car  BY BUS FROM CANCÚN OR PLAYA DEL CARMEN: the round trip bus ticket leaves you at 600 pesos, entrance to Chichén Itzá 242 pesos if you are a foreigner, if you are Mexican 162, plus a meal for 120 pesos. Total price of the trip: 962 pesos per person (40 euros). ON TOUR WITH AGENCY: you have options from 40 euros per person to Chichén Itzá

You yourself must value what it means in comfort, time and money as well as your own tastes when traveling. Everything is correct when one satisfies it. Choosing excursions well is a fundamental part of the success of the trip.

Punta Laguna, Quintana Roo


As we saw the statistics tell us that there is an average of three excursions in a stay of 7 nights, being Chichén Itzá the most coveted by its condition of Wonder of the Modern World. Besides Chichen Itza, there is much to see.

You will see that the most usual thing is to go to know some archaeological area (there are others besides Chichén Itzá), go to do snorkel to the sea or some cenote, know the islands, places of nature, theme parks and adventure sports like rappelling or quads through the jungle. Many take the opportunity to dive, Riviera Maya is one of the mecca of scuba diving. Riviera Maya and surrounding areas offer a large playground. Among all the offer look what you want and see how you want to move. It is not a destination for you to be locked in your hotel, you would lose the best.

CENOTES: that cenotes They are one of the treasures of the Yucatan Peninsula that you should not miss. Many excursions to archaeological sites combine them with a visit to a cenote. Some of these excursions are called adventure, in several cenotes they allow you to practice rappelling, zip lines, kayaking. There are more and less turistizados, all incredible, according to the charm you seek you will go to one or the other. The most visited in Riviera Maya is Cenote Dos Ojos, and in the Peninsula the Ikkil, since many agencies combine it with the excursion to Chichén Itzá.

THE ISLANDS: Isla Mujeres, Isla Contoy, Isla Holbox and Cozumel are among the most sought after excursions from the Riviera Maya. The agencies usually offer these excursions, there are even tours of two islands, up to three in a day. Isla Holbox is the one farthest from the coast, many go independently.

ARCHAEOLOGICAL ZONES: the cultural jewel of destiny is undoubtedly Chichén Itzá recognized as Wonder of the Modern World. It is the most demanded excursion, the most visited daily destination. Later we will see the other archaeological zones to which you take an excursion from Riviera Maya.

SNORKEL: There are many points where to make snorkel excursions combined with other activities. The excursion to Akumal has been gaining tourists, and is that bathing with turtles in a free space is a luxury. They give you your snorkeling equipment and usually combine the excursion with a cenote or with Tulum.

BEACHES: or beaches very beautiful that you can visit outside your hotel. In addition to excursions to islands, several agencies include some of the best Best beaches of the Riviera Maya within its offer.

Quintana Roo


SIAN KA'AN RESERVE: excursions are made by vehicle through the beautiful Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve. The most sought after is to go by 4 × 4 vehicle to Punta Allen, a day of adventure among paradisiacal beaches, and nature in its natural environment, like seeing dolphins and turtles swimming in freedom.

PUNTA LAGUNA: ofrece something authentic near Riviera Maya: one Mayan community has been preserving this place for years Spider monkey It is the icing on the cake that awaits you. En Punta lagoon walks are made to see the spider monkey, Mayan ceremonies, zip line, cenote, canoe. Some excursions that go to Cobá combine it with this place, although it is not very usual. There are few agencies that offer it, but there are. If you do not find them with pleasure I tell you with whom you can do it.

LAGUNA BACALAR: some excursions go out to Laguna Bacalar, one of the most beautiful lagoons of the Yucatan Peninsula, with Caribbean colors. They usually combine this excursion with the visit to the archaeological zone of Muyil o Kaan L'uum. If you can not find an agency to take you, you can go by private taxi or rental car.

NADO SHARK WHALE: the excursion to swim with the whale shark it's made of mid June to mid September and it is one of the great attractions of that time. For lovers of unmissable nature, although tourists who carry out this activity have increased a lot.

SEASON DESOVE OF TURTLES: From May to October you can participate in one of the gifts of this destination, the turtle nesting season. The agencies and taxi drivers of the area offer to accompany you to the beaches where there is spawning. I leave you a practical guide for see turtles in Riviera Maya.

Chichen Itza, Kukulkan Pyramid, Mexico


CHICHÉN ITZA It is the top excursion, it is considered as one of the 7 Wonders of the Modern WorldIt is very difficult to say no to Chichen. Most excursions stop to visit Valladolid, Colonial city most beautiful of the east, and a cenote, usually the Ikkil or Hubiku In Chichén you will be approximately between 2 hours and 2 hours and a half.

Jumpsuit It is the second most demanded archaeological zone from the Riviera Maya, an authentic postcard. The agencies usually combine the visit to Tulum with a cenote, some adventure activity.

The following three archaeological zones are not as crowded and these beauties are offered by the agencies.

COBÁ is an archaeological zone that does not disappoint, with a castle of 42 meters that you can climb and contemplate the flat Peninsula. They also usually combine the excursion with cenotes, adventure activities such as abseiling, zip-line or other place of interest. Many combine Tulum-Cobá.

EK BALAM It is an ancient Mayan city relevant, those interested in the Mayan world do not miss it, a preciousness. You can climb the Acropolis of Ek Balam. They usually combine the excursion with a cenote and some visit the Biosphere Reserve Río Lagartos, where you can see flamingos, something very exciting.

MUYIL, which has the lowest demand as an excursion, but you find it combined with Laguna Bacalar. From this small but beautiful archaeological zone you can visit the Chunyaxché lagoon, which is part of the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve.

Xcaret, Mexico


There are a number of theme parks Very successful in the Riviera Maya. Some strong tourism companies have enabled natural landscapes for tourist activities, both on the coast and in the jungle, in cenotes. Tourism builds nature zoos. If you want to visit a natural cove, I recommend Yal-kú in Akumal.

XCARET: the most demanded is Xcaret, where you can observe terrestrial and aquatic animals of the area, see the famous show and give a taste of different corners and Mexican traditions.

XEL-HÁ: another is Xel-há, facing the water activities. Both are places run very professionally, do not disappoint the tourist who likes these places. In both parks you can carry out, with additional cost, one of the most successful activities in the Riviera Maya, the swimming with dolphins (activity that uses animals in captivity for the recreation of the human being.) You can see them in Punta Allen, in the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve, much better, right?)

XPLOR: is the third in visits is Xplor, run by the same company as the previous ones. A chained circuit of activities such as zip lines, swimming in an underground river and car trips through caves and jungle. In addition they have Xenotes and Xenses, the great group Xcaret is the great supplier of the theme parks.

If you go to any of these parks I recommend you buy the ticket directly with themThey offer the transport service and have promotions for buying the ticket in advance. I leave your direct link, you will see that its web is very simple and clear.

SECRET RIVER: a nice tour of an underground river is Secret River, where you will enter the beautiful entrails of this Yucatan Peninsula full of hollows. If you do not dive, it's a good opportunity to immerse yourself in the Mayan underworld.

NIGHT LEISURE: and of course, the excursions of nightlife, tickets to night clubs like Coco Bongo, are the most sold in the Riviera Maya, a place facing the party and what most generates many agencies next to the theme parks. Playa del Carmen, Cancun and Tulum every night there are parties until dawn.

You can buy tours with the Civitatis agency that sells directly through the internet, and has good prices. The tours are in Spanish. You can book through the blog easily and safely. You can cancel for free until 24 hours before. We have affiliation with them, you can see the opinions of other travelers to guide you better.


  1. Light and light clothing, a change of clothes in case the tour is aquatic. Even if you sweat a lot in summer you will appreciate a change of shirt. 
  2. Sombrero or something to protect you from the sun. It is better to protect yourself with a hat and long sleeves than with sun protection. 
  3. Insect repellent, in many places there moscos (mosquitoes), very furious in some areas and in the rainy season, from June to November. If it is a natural product without chemicals much better.
  4. Biodegradable sunscreen if you are going to do open water activities. 
  5. Close shoes better to climb the Mayan pyramids, with sandals you can stumble more easily. If you have closed that can get wet, great.
  6. Towel and swimsuit, in many they include a cenote.
  7. Cash for tips or souvenir. In the excursions it is tip to the guide, about 50-100 pesos per person is correct. In case it serves you, I usually give more or less on the basis if I liked the guide's performance, rather than by obligation, which I then give the correct one. In Riviera Maya there are many employees who live on the tip, which the system may like more or less is another story, but the one who attends you lives on the tip. 
  8. Water chamber bring it, you will enjoy taking photos in cenotes and sea.

THE LAW OF THE GOOD CENOTERO: To avoid contaminating the delicate water of the cenotes, do not use body creams, or protectors, or repellents before entering them. Do not hang from the roots of the trees or touch the stalactites or do any other idiocy that damages the place.


Move for free or come all-inclusive, there are a number of tips that you should take into account in Riviera Maya. We leave you different entries that can help you.

I know it's a lot of information for someone who does not know the destination, so we made a day-to-day excursion plan so you can easily plan your vacations.

Plan of Riviera Maya trip for 9 days and 7 nights


I hope I helped you with this entry. We offer a personalized service of travel advice where we give the information that you need to economize and organize your vacations. This option is great for visitors. 

Riviera Maya tripsTo help you with your trip we offer one hour advice. The price for 1 hour is 30 euros / 650 pesos Contact me by email [email protected] I would love to be able to offer you our knowledge so that your trip is a unique experience.

Good way,

Travel hacks
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Sandra Salvadó Training photographer, traveler by vocation and certified tourism guide by the Government of Mexico. We promote natural wonders and contemporary Mayan culture. Great fan of pre-Hispanic history. Author of the blog and co-founder of The Shortest Path Travel, agency that guides you through alternative paths in Mayan lands. Social and sustainable tourism in the Yucatan Peninsula and Chiapas.
I am at your disposal for whatever you need. Let's talk.

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